By Kate Marsden
Since high school, I’ve been listening to the Australian indie-psychedelic-surf rock group Babe Rainbow (comprised of. Angus Dowling, Jack Crowther, Elliot O’Reilly, and Miles Myjavaec) so I was rather stoked to hear that they were performing in Santa Cruz. “Morning Song” off of their 2019 album Today served as some sonic sunshine for me during 2020 when the world felt dark, so to be able to see and hear the colors of the Rainbow in person was such a treat. This concert took place about two weeks prior to the release of their latest album The Organic Band so the show was an enjoyable mix of old and new tracks. Surfer Alex Knost and his new band seventies tuberide opened and when I recognized Knost’s blond bob to be his my inner wannabe surfer girl tween self was starstruck.
This was my first time at a Moe’s Alley concert so when I walked into the relatively small venue, I felt very fortunate that I was going to be one of the lucky few that got to witness the intimate performance that was to come. As Moe’s Alley is a 21+ establishment, the audience members spanned from the ages of 21 (like myself) all the way to fifties and sixties. I got to the concert pretty early, so I had some time to take in the vibrantly colorful hippie-esque cloth backdrop sporting the band’s name across it along with a smiling moon, earth, and what appeared to be a banana slug! It was also fun to see all the audience member’s different interpretations of Babe Rainbow concert attire with some wearing traditional night-at-a-bar outfits while others were in full 70s-inspired funky regalia. The Babe Rainbow band included a vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and drummer with the occasional wooden rattle shake. For the encore, seventies tuberide came back on stage, with Knost donning a pair of sunglasses and hitting two drumsticks together, for an all-out groovy finale. I also appreciated that this was a dance-friendly concert, with the crowd and band boogieing alike.
The show felt like an evening of time travel to a 1960s haven full of love, light, and grooviness. My personal favorite tracks from the night were “Peach Blossom Boogy” from their eponymous 2017 album The Babe Rainbow and “Zeitgeist” from their 2021 album Changing Colours. The previously mentioned groovy finale was also just a heartwarming moment to witness because of the palpable support and excitement that Babe Rainbow had for new band seventies tuberide and vice versa. The fun-loving energy was mutual from band to band and bands to audience.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my night of colorful, groovin’ psychedelia with the one and only Babe Rainbow.